Fathers and Sons

Bringing Up Bazarov: The Origins of Bazarov's Radicalism in Turgenyev's Fathers and Sons

The genesis of the Russian radical movement is portrayed in Ivan Turgenev's classic novel Fathers and Sons as a shock which resonated throughout the Russian public sphere, effecting change within both families and society. Indeed, historian Daniel Brower argues in {\em Training the Nihilists: Education and Radicalism in Tsarist Russia} that the radical movement changed not only the lives of the university students who were recruited, but also the society around them, by creating a legitimized niche for such counter-cultural activity. He claims further that most recruits for the movement entered not for intellectual reasons, but because of the recruitment process, which proved crucial to the movement's later success:

Though ideological questions. . . appeared the major concern of radical journalists whose articles and books set the intellectual tone for the movement. . . much of the writing of the radical journalists was far above the heads of potential recruits. . . Rational analysis was not by itself adequate to generate large-scale, collective recruitment of radicals. Family, peers, church, and state all combined to discourage collective resistance. . . Some of the radicals did follow an individual, intellectual path...

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